Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Ladies and Gentlemen, a Giant Has Fallen

Oh he's smart, but not unbeatable. Ken Jennings, Jeopardy champ extraordinaire, finally met his match tonight, and I've been strutting around smiling ever since. I have nothing against Ken, he seems like a lovable nerd to me, but there are two reasons why I'm happy:
1. He was beat by a woman.
2. I knew the answer to the question that was his undoing!

Another thing I would like to discuss today is that I am apparently not the typical blogger. I was looking a few of them randomly, and through my astute observational skills, I came to 2 somewhat alarming conclusions based on my lackings:
1. I am not an Asian girl.
2. I do not feel the compulsion to write about how much I love Jesus.

I cannot stand the excitement any longer, and yet by my count, there are still 17 days left. 17 long, agonizing days, and I'm just not sure I'll be able to make it. I could collapse from excitement right now, and flop around on the living room floor, sweaty and salivating like crazy, but I guess that wouldn't make it December 17th any sooner, right? So all I can do is sit here pretending that patience is a virtue, for two and a half more weeks. Loooong weeks. But on December 17th, I will so be lined up, ready to fall in love with Adam all over again, in his new movie Spanglish.

God my hair smells delicious. I mean, how do people keep their hands off me? Just by smell alone, I must drive at least half the population absolutely bonkers. I'm feeling kind of turned on right now, and it's me!

Well, obviously British accents are quite appealing. It's the reason why Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, while not inherently good looking, make us North American ladies swoon. And there are a few words that British people use (that we, over here, do not) that consistently make me laugh:
1. Dodgy, as in "Boy that's a dodgy sweater you're wearing." And believe you me, dodgy is not a compliment.
2. Wonky, as in "Boy that 8th beer has made you pretty wonky." (shaky, unreliable)
I mean, where do these people come up with this material! Priceless!

Once in a blue moon, a new product comes along that just completely changes the way you live your life. I imagine that the washing machine was one of these products, because in the past a woman would have had to dedicate a good 10 minutes of intense elbow grease of scrubbing for each article of clothing. And for someone like me, who has so many nose bleeds and pepsi spills every single day, I could be spending my whole life down by the creek. And then a machine comes along that you just throw in your laundry and sprinkle in some soap, and ta-da. The TV was probably like that, and the car, and the fridge, and flushing toilets (flushing toilets!), the light bulb, the computer...well you can see where this is going. Imagine if you were alive when they invented the washing machine...would you be 100% happy, or would a part of you always be resentful for all the time wasted doing it the "old" way? Well, I have had such an experience, and I think nowadays it's rare to have a new product out since most of the latest things are either just improvements on old ones (usually only slight improvements), or else just plain crap we don't need that won't change your life at all. But then I found Clorox Wipes. That's right, you heard me: Clorox Wipes! I am a de-bacterializing machine! Raw chicken? No problem! Grody keyboard? Busted! Sticky remote control (listen, for the last time, I didn't mean to spill the juice directly on it, it just happened that way)? Wiped clean, my friend. You just pull the little rag thingy out, and Ole! If you don't have these wipes, you need them. Now I know that there's all this buzz about about all this consumerism being a bad thing, but take it from me, that's just drivel. Everyone knows that materialism and rampant spending are what drive our economy. So go ahead, and wipe away!

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Funniest Thing That Happened to Me Today

Here's the only hazard of having your grandparents as neighbours:

I was sitting here, just minding my own business, innocent as all get-out, nursing my probable blood clot and trying to decide if a 3pm bedtime is completely out of the question, when I hear Nanny's footsteps on the stairs. Knock, knock, knock. "It's just me!" as if I could mistake her for anyone else.

"Are you going out for New Year's?" No hello, no good morning, how are you today? She just gets right to the point and leaves me dumb. Uhh...

Well, that is a good question. Isn't this still November? Jason and I aren't exactly long-term planners. We plan the day on the day of the day. And not much before. We're still figuring out the whole Christmas thing, and we're not even doing very well at that. So to be honest, we have not discussed any new year's plans. In fact, we haven't even admitted that there will be a new year, or that this one will end. But still, do I want to say this? I can't get a good read on Nanny this morning, and usually I like to tailor my answers in order to steer the conversation down comfortable paths. But I don't know where this one is going, so how do I know what kind of answer may potentially get me into a tight spot?

"Well Nanny, I don't know yet." I am half-afraid that she is about to invite me for bridge and beer, and I'm already thinking up excuses why I can't possibly do that for New Year's.
But no, the conversation suddenly veers down a completely different path than the one I am imagining:

"It's because I have this dress that I thought you might like to wear." Oh yeah? You know, just the other day, I was flipping through Cosmo and I noticed that old people stuff was really in style now.

"It's black and has a scoop neck and has sleeves "like this" and is made of that material that's loose and crinkly."

"Oh, that sounds ... nice..." (yeah, it didn't sound convincing to me either, but I did try).

"The dress will probably look really good on you because you have bigger boobs than me (well, I think she said bust, maybe, or bosom). And it has a jacket that goes with it, but you probably won't want to wear that because you're young and you don't have the bags of fat under your arms (my Nanny is a bit weight-obsessed, and I recognize the opportunity to once again assure her that she is not fat, she looks wonderful, blah blah blah)." So she rushes upstairs to retrieve the dress for me.

She shows me the dress, and I immediately think it would better belong in a costume department somewhere, in a box marked "old lady". It's made of this god awful synthetic material, some kind of acrylic-lycra stretchy fabric that should not be known to humankind for any reason. And the jacket? Not a jacket, more like a little short sleeve shirt that ties at the neck with one gold button. Wait, there's more! It's embroidered with corn stalks in gold thread. Sexy. Not exactly the kind of thing I might wear to the Liquor Dome. But she thinks that it might also be good for Christmas dinner or going out for holiday dinners.

And the best part: "You don't have to tell anyone it's mine. I've only worn it to The Moose once or twice, so the family hasn't seen me in it yet." Oh boy! Now will my sister will just think I borrowed it from some other 70 year old lady that I know. The secret is safe!

So I can't exactly say "I wouldn't wear that for anything", therefore I am committed to hanging it in my closet at least until the new year before I return it to her with profuse thanks. But my morbid curiosity is getting the best of me, so of course I have to go try it on. That's just the kind of desperate-for-laughs mood I was in this afternoon.

First of all, she was right: my boobs did look fabulous in the dress. I will be the hottest gal at the Legion! Oh wait, I keep forgetting that I'm not 70 and that Jason and I did not buy tickets for all-you-can-eat roast beef for New Year's at the Legion. So she prepared me on the boob front, even though I think it's a bad sign for the rest of my week that my grandmother and I already discussing my chest, and it's only Monday. What she didn't tell me was that it also accentuates the shoulders by means of sewn-in shoulder pads. Oh yes.

It's horrible. I mean, she said that it would suit my complexion (oh yeah, cause lots of girls can't wear black!) and that everything looks nice on me because I have such a pretty face (huh?). But clearly Nanny woke up on the wrong side of dellusional this morning. What is Nanny thinking? Did she just want an excuse to visit? Did she wake up this morning and think "Maybe if I let Jamie borrow a dress of mine, she'll let me borrow her Doc Martens for that rave Bob and I are going to..."?

I am incredibly tempted to wear the damn thing, at least to Christmas this year. That way, the next time Nanny wears it to the Legion she can say "This old thing? Oh, my granddaughter just borrowed it the other day...". It doesn't really work the other way, but what do I care? There was a time when I thought crocheted vests and stirrup pants were the height of fashion so maybe I'm not that credible a source myself. But I'm not trying to get Nanny to wear my shirt that says 'Pete's weiners, 50 cents each'. And besides, I already have the perfect shoes to go with the outfit; Nanny gave me a pair this summer, and shock of all shocks, I haven't really had the opportunity to wear them yet. Now I have to wonder: is she nuts, or am I?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Good Charlotte

It starts with the perfect, moist chocolate cake, laced with honey and rum, and filled with surprising but delightful coffee-flavoured Bavarian cream. The whole thing is piped with chocolate chantilly cream, surrounded with Viennese hazelnut and cocoa cream piroulines, and topped with chocolate curls and shavings. And that, my friends, is a good charlotte. A great charlotte, even.

Now if you can add to this good charlotte some good company, or at least hungry tummies, then you have a wonderful mix. There is nothing better than an appreciative audience for your delectable creations. I only wish I had more time to devote to baking new masterpieces, especially since I seem to have moved on to treats that I can actually indulge in myself (unlike my trademark cheesecakes).

Being married to a great big walking hungry tummy, I have had plenty of practice for my new hobby, and hopefully my future career. One day, when I've had enough of whatever it is that I settle on doing, we can stake our whole life savings on my crackpot idea of opening up a dessert bar so I can spend all my days surrounded by chocolate and booze (what else could a girl want?). By then, I shall have tried out hundreds of samples on families and friends, and I will easily be able to pare down the choices to a very select menu of only the best, most mouth-watering desserts. By then, dear Jason, you will be able to buy me that stand mixer ($400!) and write it off, so it won't hurt you so much. I can spend the whole day in a kitchen making everything perfect and pretty. And if need be, I already have a list of people willing to accept positions at Sweet J's Dessert Bar as official taste-testers.

All of this, of course, is so far into the future that it's just a nice thing to think about when I lay awake at night, wondering what the future will look like. Will my hair turn grey, or will I still be dying it purple when I'm 60? Will I ever shop at Northern Reflections, and think that I look good in a sweater with ducks? Will I live in a big house that needs dusting, or will I have spent all my money on shoes that pinch too much to wear, and live in a little houseboat down South? Will I ever learn to play the banjo, or stop after 8 tattoos, or start a collection of brooches, or take up lawn-bowling? I guess the thing about being 23 is that all of these questions are unanswered, and should be. I don't even know what tomorrow will bring, although I think I have a pretty good idea. And I must say, that as long as I have a nice cake (or a good charlotte) to soften the blows, I can be brave about what lies ahead. Life is sweet.

Sometimes Evil Drives a Mini-Van

More musings:

Okay, I'll come out and say it, Harry Potter is hot. And I don't care who hears me say it; I've been saying it since the first movie, when he was just 11. So of course now that he's 15 and it's even less creepy, I'll be shouting it from the rooftops. Sometimes you can just tell when a kid is going to grow up to be a hottie, so my advice is to keep your eyes on this guy! One of these days he'll even be legal!

I have recently learned, to my horror and embarrassment, that my husband is sneaking around behind my back, so if someone tells you that we're separated, it's probably true. There are a lot of possibilities that you must consider when you get married, and at some point, almost everyone wonders what they would do should the worst ever happen to them. But none of us ever believe that our wonderful husbands would actually lie, deceive, and generally just become a whole different person. If we believed it could happen, why would we marry? So even though we may think about the worst, we never think it will happen to us, and then it does. I should have seen all the signs...I mean, as it turns out, it was happening right here in my own house, and that's what makes it hurt so much. There were little plastic chips scattered on the carpet. Like a fool, I picked them up while vacuuming and never even mentioned them to him. Then he started inexplicably buying troll dolls, and he actually had me convinced it was for a prank Christmas gift for his dad. But then I caught him in the act one day, and now everything is different, everything is clear to me, and it makes my stomach churn. I asked him how he could do such a thing, and he said he didn't know. He said he doesn't even enjoy it! And how could he? Jason is playing bingo all alone at night when I'm asleep or during the day when I'm gone out. There's no one to call the numbers for him. There's no one racing to fill up their card before him. He's so ashamed, he felt he had to hide it from me. But now the secret's out, and it's all I can do to honour my vows, for better or for worse.

Charles Dickens is giving me nightmares again. I mean, I'm innocently reading A Tale of Two Cities, and it's all nice, all happy little family, and then suddenly it's all blood and guts: first he'll be "drawn on a hurdle to be half hanged, and then he'll be taken down and sliced before his own face, and then his inside will be taken out and burnt while he looks on, and then his head will be chopped off, and he'll be cut into quarters." And believe me, that's the friendliest sentence, because it doesn't involve any hot oil. Those people were really into their punishements back then. And then whole town would gather to watch this happen, for entertainment. And they had food vendors and kegs of beer to make it even more of a social gathering. Which is sickening, but it reminds me of a lot of stuff that goes on today. Oh, we don't watch that stuff live, but lots of people do pay $8 a seat to watch in on the big screen, all the while munching on their buttery popcorn. I do not like to go see horror movies, or excessively violent movies. I don't think it's entertaining to watch people die, and I think it's a really sad commentary on our society that this is a billion dollar enterprise. I mean, we can read that above quote and agree that it is "barbaric", and yet people were lined up to see Saw in theatres just last week. And I can tell you, there is no artistic merit in that movie. It's not a story that needed to be told. It's just a movie where you can watch a bunch of people die agonizing and horrifying deaths. And why does anyone want to see that? We may as well be the angry mob, foaming at the mouth, that Dickens was describing back in 1775. I can maybe understand a movie like Saving Private Ryan, which is also very bloody and violent, but it serves a purpose other than just shock and titilation. War IS terrible, and hopefully we can learned from our mistakes and not have to go through that again. I had a hard time watching that movie, especially knowing that for a lot of scared young men, it was reality. But when watching it in a theatre with 200 other people, I realized I was the only person turning away. And that's because people are used to seeing the spray of blood. It's normal. And it shouldn't be.

Jason has a thing for hot apple cider from Tim Horton's lately. Which I think is gross, but I indulge him in these things, and I try to keep my comments to myself. And he keeps urging me to try it, I might like it, even though I keep insisting that I have tried it, and I don't like it, I don't even like apple juice, and I don't need to keep putting things I consider disgusting in my mouth just to test his theories. But anyway, Jason likes to go to Tim's a lot, because he is also a coffee drinker (large double double), though I am also not a fan of coffee. He wanted to bring some to work, but they have a policy concerning drinks that states it either has to be in a resealable bottle, or a spill-proof cup. I told him I had such a thing at home, my thermal coffee mug that I received from my last place of employment, and promptly never once used. But then Jason confessed that he'd already shattered it months ago, and needed a new one. So we bought one from Tim Horton's, filled with apple cider, and of course they were conveniently out of the normal sizes and we had to spring for the EXTRA LARGE which I will from here forward refer to as Penis Cup, because if ever I saw a phallic image, this was it. Definitely compensating for something. And filled with cider, our car was smelling like an orchard (I was going to say it smelled like the diaper of a baby who's had too much apple sauce, but that's just mean). Anyway, Jason brought the Penis Cup to work (and boy does he hate it when I call it that!) and by first break, he realized that his bladder can contain about one sip less than what a Penis Cup contains, because on the tail end of his last call, he was standing in his office doing the dance, and then he slammed the phone down and made a run for it. So the Penis Cup stayed home today, empty. Hah.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Never trust anything that bleeds for 5 days and doesn't die

Some musings from the past few days:

-I am currently reading A Tale of Two Cities, you know, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." and I am realizing how everyone knows those first 12 words and not much else about it. So I asked Jason what two cities he even thought were involved, and without missing a beat, he guessed Seattle and France. First of all, this book takes place in 1775, which means Seattle did not exist (not until 1869, in fact) and secondly, France is a country, not a city. So the bottom line, friends: don't trust Jason on anything literary or common sensical.

-Nanny and Pa just got back from an exhilarating 3-day trip to Niagara Falls. They packed beers for the bus, enjoyed gambling at yet another casino, and ate a good meal in the revolving restaurant. Their favourite part of the trip seems to be the piece of roast beef Pa ordered for dinner at this restaurant, because they both had to show me the yay by yay by yay dimensions of this slab of beef, which according to its length, width, and height, was about the size of a platform shoe, and frankly, all 3 of us are surprised that Pa is still able to walk around.

-The other day when Jason and I were on Pitt St, we saw a truck that said "Oh les phoques" on the back. Now, I am not a fan of any stenciling of any sort on cars...in Cornwall, there is an abundance of little boys either peeing or giving the finger, and I wonder when we started giving 8 year olds the right to drive. It's about as trailer trash as you can get, and you just know whoever gets out of said car will have a mullet and buck teeth and will barely speak the good English. But this les phoques truck takes the cake, as I'm sure you agree. If you don't know, a phoque is the French word for seal...but you know very well this guy is not just enthusiastic about seals. Apparently it is funny to him to have a French word that sounds like a dirty English word on his truck...which I can totally understand, because I remember going through that phase myself in grade 2. But my mom wouldn't let me spray-paint it on my Blue Angel bike, and I got over it quickly. Yeah.

-Jason started on his new team at work, and after a grim first day, he had only this to say: "No one else on my team is under 60 or under 400 lbs." It's just a bunch of old ladies with hacking coughs who are quite pleased to have such a nice young man join their ranks...they even invited him to their weekly trip to the 5th Wheel for some chain-smoking and gossip on Tuesday night. Jason passed on that one. His second day was maybe a bit worse, because of the persimmons. You see, strolling through the produce section on Saturday inspired us to pick up 2 persimmons (for 98 cents) to try them out. Jason took one to work with him yesterday, and a few hours later I found this urgent message from him in my email: "Do not eat that persimmon!!!" Apparently it was much like eating a sponge, because it sucked all the saliva right out of his mouth, and didn't taste much better than a sponge either. Then he had to work the rest of his shift with no spit, which apparently is a lot harder than it sounds. Let's hope day 3 goes a little better.

-Last night when we were going to bed, I was trying to align the coffee table, and Jason accused me of having O.C.D. (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Let me explain: our coffee table sits in between 2 couches that are at a right angle to each other, so it's a tricky thing to make the coffee table line up with both of them, so I'm often nudging it one way or another, stepping back for a better view, and trying again. But I do not have O.C.D. and you'd think my husband would be a little more appreciate of the aesthetically pleasing lines of the house I keep for him. But no, he just diagnoses me (I knew I would regret asking him to help me study!). So when I denied having even a touch of O.C.D., he then pronounced that I had some B.I.T.C.H.Y. How do you like that? Raise your hand if you think Jason slept on the couch last night.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The 10 Men I'd Like to Find Under my Tree this Year!

10. Pacey

I have a pedophile-ish confession to make: I have had a crush on Joshua Jackson since 1992, when the first Mighty Ducks movie came out. Thank heavens in 1998 the world gave us some more acceptable images of him, so I was no longer forced to swoon in private. It was while watching Dawson's Creek that I first decided that the back of a man's neck was a luscious, luscious thing, and it was my hots for Pacey that got me through the show's sappier moments. By the end of its run, Pacey was the only thing that made the show worth watching, and in my opinion, he was VERY worth watching. That devillish smile coupled with his witty remarks...my Wednesday night just has not been the same since!

9. Matthew Broderick

This man will be 87 and still have a baby face…those dimples are to die for, he's got a wink on him worth a million dollars, and those puppy dog eyes... he is the only man in the world who makes me think that cute is not such a bad thing. Adorable, really! He is the kind of brooding quiet that is mysterious and very attractive He's got that kind-of-nerdy- but- incredibly
-delectable thing going for him. You just can't take your eyes off of him in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and he makes a god-awful movie called Godzilla almost bearable if you keep your focus on his shy smile and the bumbling way he makes any cheesy line seem actually funny. I just want to eat him right up!

8. Hugh Grant

What the hell is it about this guy? There is nothing about him that is obviously sexy: he often has that floppy hair thing, so mid-90s, his body is thin, his grin is lop-sided. And yet the whole thing culminates into this alluring package that drives me crazy. The accent probably helps a lot, and the little wrinkles around his eyes. And the way that even when he's playing the bastard, he still comes off sweet and charming. And when he really smiles, it gets me every time.

7. Thom Filicia

When I first started watching Queer Eye, I fell in love easily with Kyan, who has obvious good looks and the benefit or great hair. Then I went through my Ted phase, because a man who can cook is a total prize, plus he has this dry wit that holds the group together. But as the weeks go by, I realize that it is Thom that I absolutely want under my tree. He is not only super good looking and totally funny (Quote: "Lemme get this straight: your friend is a straight hairstylist with wicker furniture? I have a feeling he's not telling you the whole truth."), but he is one talented dude! Yeah, I know he's gay, but I'd still totally make out with him. And even if he's never more than a shopping partner, he's still worth his weight in gold. What woman doesn't want a handsome man with great fashion sense and who knows the importance of throw pillows...plus, gay men can dance, and that is hard to find! To top it all off, he decorates beautifully...this man can do no wrong!

"Gays love their frostings!"

6. Robbie Williams

What is it about Robbie that I love? More like what isn't it! I mean come on, he's the ultimate bad boy, sooo hot, and sooo confident (I love cocky men!!) There is just something very magnetic about him, he looks at the camera and I start yelling "Take me, I'm yours!" at the TV. And the man looks as good in a suit as his he does in his underpants, and that says a lot. Ladies: if you haven't seen the video for Come Undone, I totally recommend it. Grrrr...why does a black eye just look so damn sexy on some guys?

5. Will Smith

When I watched him on Fresh Prince, he was just a funny guy. But he certainly made all us ladies take a second look when he started making movies. Tall, handsome, broad shoulders, and incredibly smart (he was accepted at MIT but didn't have the $): the total package. There's a scene in Bad Boys 2 when he's walking into a lobby pulling on his suit jacket, and you can literally hear dozens and dozens of panties sliding to the floor of the movie theatre. But he's most drool-worthy when he's wearing that bullet proof vest that says POLICE. Yum! Plus, he's a great guy, he treats his wife like a woman is meant to be treated, and that makes any man irresistable. Quote: "I'm human viagra. I'm Willagra. I'm a sex machine now. I'm raring to go every second of the day. My wife's loving it." What woman wouldn't? Perfect man much?

4. Dennis Quaid

I can't really remember a time when I didn't love Dennis Quaid. It must be those bedroom eyes, which is creepy, because I think I had a picture of him under my 90210 poster when I was 9. But anyway, he has the greatest smile on the face of the earth, and he only gets better with age. I have never seen anyone look better in a baseball shirt (in The Rookie), and lucky me: it rains when he's wearing the white one...hard.

3. Raine Maida

From the moment I first heard his voice, I was totally smitten. He has such a passion and power in his voice when he sings (as part of my favourite band, Our Lady Peace) that my heart literally beats a little quicker every single time I hear one of his songs. And his lyrics blow me away, so that I could love him without ever seeing him. But then I did see him (in the video for Naveed when he sings "trying hard to understand why Naveed would let a young man...die, it's during the ... that I completely melted and have been his ever since) I was like, "whoa, there's a total hotness factor here." I won't even begin to tell you about when I held his hand and sang with him. It's just too much for me. Feast your eyes on this:

This picture doesn't do him justice, but after all, he's just a Canadian rock god.

2. Mr. Adam Sandler

I don't know if words are necessary here, because there is probably not a person alive who hasn't heard me rant about Adam before. I have adored him since 1992 when I first fell in love with Opera Man and Lucy Brawn, the Gap girl. There has not since been one single thing about him that I don't like (later ammended: actually, he's republican. Eep.). Nothing makes me happier than the eager anticipation of seeing something new of his on the big screen (Stay tuned for Spanglish, hitting a theatre near you on December 17th). He makes me laugh constantly; I have seen Billy Madison more times than I've written my own name, and it still gives me the giggles. He is incredibly successful and yet still humble. I love him to pieces, which may turn out to be a problem when I'm 50 and still in line with teenage boys to be assaulted by scatological humour. And yes, I find him incredibly sexy.

1. Jason

He will do anything to make me laugh, and unlike Adam, I never have to wait for new material. He's as witty as Pacey, and yeah, the back of his neck is quite delightful, especially since I tattooed it (and he used to watch Dawson's Creek with me weekly, while hopelessly trying to explain geometry to me, back when we were just friends, and he and I were both seeing other people). He indulges my love of OLP and takes me to concerts and doesn't even complain when I'm swooning over another man. And he does try to sing to me, although his favourites are Toni Braxton songs, for some insane reason. His eyes put Matthew Broderick's to shame...they are the most interesting colour, brown with gold in the centre, and I could get lost in them for hours. And he wears the baseball shirt I got him from the Gap even though he knows it's an homage to Dennis Quaid. But he looks good, and he knows he looks good, so it all works out. Jason and Hugh Grant both shared a former penchant for bad haircuts, but miraculously, both have since recovered. Now he lets me tease him about it, and he teases me back, and that is the hallmark of a great, secure relationship. Jason is good to his wife, to all the women in his life, and though he doesn't earn $20 mil a movie like Will Smith, he does plan on becoming a cop, and promises to bring home his vest for some exciting Saturday nights. He may not be as cocky as Robbie Williams, but he drives me crazy anyway. I want him under my tree the most, this year and every year, and not just because I have to say that. He has absolutely nothing in common with Thom, but that's okay, I sort of prefer straight men for husbands. And as much as I love Adam, I wouldn't ever trade in my Jason. Because Jason was made just for me, and though I bug him all the time, but he knows I wouldn't change a thing.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Canadian Content

Corner Gas is the latest of a string of really bad Canadian shows that producers keep foisting on us because we have laws here that state that a certain percentage of TV programming must be Canadian. Only this this time there's one small difference: Corner Gas is not really bad. It's really good. And I say this with a lot of disbelief in my voice, because like many Canadians, I don't even believe that this is possible anymore. And so last year, I autimatically flipped right over that show, it may as well have been a blank screen for all the time I gave it. And I know that I am not alone; by definition, Canadian TV is crap TV. But finally, an exception to the rule!!

Corner Gas is distinctively Canadian; it stands out like a sore thumb from all the American programming that surrounds it, and I mean that in the best way possible. It's not full of slick characters who never seem to go to work and yet somehow inexplicably have the money for sexy life-styles far above the national average. It's not full of fast-paced one-liners, either, in fact, it is slow and laid-back, yet somehow manages to keep you laughing from start to finish. And I'm talking about genuine laugh-out-loud material here! The characters on the show are watchable, yet so realistic you could probably walk into any Tim Horton's and find a similar cross-section of characters wherever in Canada you live. The town, Dog River, reminds you of any small town in this vast country; the situations are oddly familiar, from the feeling that everyone knows everyone else, to the cheesy headlines on the cheesy local newspaper.

I'm not sure that non-Canadians would really "get" it, and that makes me feel all the more fondly of it; it seems to put a cultural stamp on Canada that I haven't really seen in anything else. Gone are the days when Canadian TV shows meant painful cliches: shows about duct tape (if you watch The Red Green Show, good for you, it's nice to support this "effort", but I haven't been able to stomach it myself), shows about Mounties , oh, and the ever-popular (and by popular, I mean vomit-inducing) "quaint" shows like Anne of Green Gables and Road to Avonlea which make me embarrassed to be Canadian, and then obvious rip-offs like Canadian Idol which just make me sad. I mean come on, we're not void of talent here, we can do better than this crap! And now, finally, we have. I am sad to have missed the first season of this show, although I believe we can now rent it on DVD...so if you're in the same boat, I suggest that you do so. As for the current season, it airs on Tuesday nights, 8:00 on CTV, and I am quite confident that you will like it.

My favourite quote from the show: (Emma and Oscar are an older couple who bicker like hell and drive each other crazy...hmm, sounds familiar)
Emma: What's this?
Oscar: I'm naked
Emma: Well I didn't think you were holding a wrinkly purse.

It's about time that we keep some funny people here. I can't remember willingly watching a Canadian show since Kids In The Hall (and man have I missed those boys!). It seems that Canada has been exporting our most entertaining people for a long time: Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Michael J. Fox, Eugene Levy, Shatner, Eric MacCormack, John Candy, Brenden Fraser, Phil Hartman, Joshua Jackson, Dave Foley, Norm MacDonald...well, I could go on, but it's not necessary. You know who they are. We hear about them in the newspapers as in "Jim Carrey, formerly a Canadian, has completely sold out and now is an American citizen, and you guys can have him-good luck." And you can't help but wonder, if we could somehow keep even a fraction of these people here, maybe we wouldn't be stuck watching various perversions of Degrassi for the rest of our lives.

So far, it seems like we can only keep our musical talent here, and only until they crack the elusive American market. I remember the good old days when the Barenaked Ladies were just a bunch of goofy guys making good music and silly videos, and then some American bought their record, and all of a sudden they have product in their hair and pairs of $1400 sunglasses. It doesn't seem to matter that it was Canadian kids who bought their early stuff and got them off the ground. And Shania Twain, the ingrate, took 3 years to even come visit the tourist centre that was built here in her honour. Alanis Morrissette is a rarity in that even with success, she still occasionally visits us, and will possibly even marry in her hometown of Ottawa (she's engaged to Ryan Reynolds, a fellow Canadian I might add). It gets to the point where we find ourselves being very quiet about our top talent. I love Our Lady Peace but I would hesitate to tell an American about them, because one whiff of the American audience and they'd be saying "Canada who?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Love Is Not Enough

I told her that when she woke up tomorrow, it would hurt a little less. And that when she woke up the day after that, even would hurt even less. But the truth is, and we both know it, that her pain will be reduced by such a tiny amount tomorrow that she will barely notice the difference. Same for the day after that, and the day after that. That's what we call a broken heart. But what else can I say to her over the phone to console her for the loss of her 5-year relationship? Absolutely nothing. It's times like these that make me feel like a failure as a friend.

I ache for her. She is so great, and so fun, and so alive, and I think that if someone like her can be so unappreciated by the man who has claimed to love her for the past two years, who actually got down on one knee and proposed marriage not that long ago, then how can the rest of us ever feel safe? We all used to double date all the time, and the thing about her stupid good for nothing boyfriend is that he's really a nice guy. Isn't that infuriating? He tells funny stories, he likes her mom, he makes sure she brings mittens. They're a sweet couple. At least, they are out in public. At home, it's a different story, and it has been for a while. We could sit in a pub all night, the 4 of us laughing until our sides hurt, and then the next day she and I would go to lunch, and her eyes would be swollen from crying all night. But they always stayed together because they love each other. Even from the outside looking in, it's always been easy to see that. But I also saw how much she would be hurt at the thought that sometimes, love is not enough. And you know, it's not. It's not enough to just love someone. Relationships are a lot more than that.

So I asked her, 'Does he love you the way you want to be loved?' and I think that pretty much sums up their trouble. He loves her, and Jason talked to him the other day long enough to know that he is suffering every bit as much as she is during their separation. But he doesn't show her that he loves her. He doesn't love her in a way that she can feel loved. Some people want to hear the words, others want grand gestures or quiet time or cuddles. And if to you, love means back rubs and deep kisses, and you're not getting that, then you don't feel loved. And for all practical purpuses, feeling love is being loved. If you can't feel it, then it might as well not be. And that's the problem: he thinks it's enough to bring her flowers and leave her little notes in their apartment. And I know for a fact that while she appreciates these gestures, it's not enough. They will go a whole week without really having any time to themselves, no time to talk and relax and connect emotionally. She tells him this regularly, they have a fight about it, and then the next day he thinks to himself 'Oh, she's upset, I should bring her flowers.' And they get caught in the cycle.

I want them to be together, she wants them to be together, he wants them to be together. But will they ever be able to bridge the gap and both be getting what they need out of this relationship? I don't know. But I just can't help but think that if he loves her enough, then he'd be willing to do anything to save them. I know that's how she sees things too. She's not asking him to do anything that he can't, but she is asking him to change the way he thinks about love, and love is pretty much the first concept that gets cemented in our hearts and in our heads. So it is a big job to remodel that concept in this stage in the game, but it's not impossible. And I just want to call him up and tell him that in all his years, he will never find anyone as perfect and wonderful as she is. I think he suspects this himself, but I'm afraid that he's willing to settle for someone a little less wonderful if only things will be easier than they are now. That terrifies me, because I know that love is not always easy. People have to be willing to work at it, and sometimes, work hard. And I think that she is worth it, and he used to too. Where did that go?

I am pretty confident that this is not it for them; that they will have another go at things. But I am a little less confident that this is a good idea. If this task is insurmountable, then I guess it's best to cut their losses right now and start the difficult job of healing and moving on. That's a hard choice to make: hurt right now, or risk hurting again, and even worse, in the future.

And all I can do is hold her hand and tell her that there is definitely someone out there that will love her and cherish her as much as she deserves. It's not what she wants to hear, she wants me to tell her that the man she planned to marry will in fact be the man she marries and loves for the rest of her life. But I don't know that for sure, I guess no one does. I will be there for her as she makes this decision, but I know I can't be of much use because when it comes to love, we're rarely rational. Loves makes is blind, delusional, optimistic, pessimistic, light-headed, heavy-hearted, hopeful, dreamy, but rarely rational. And we keep putting ourselves through hell and back, we keep trying, we keep making the same mistakes, and for what? Well, if you've ever been in love, then you know. Love is lovely, when it works. Horrid when it doesn't, but just lovely when it does.

Monday, November 15, 2004

My Oldest Friend

Tonight I was thinking about what exactly people mean when they say 'oldest friend' because strictly speaking, Trevor, age 36, is my oldest friend. And that's a bit weird when I think about it because my mother is only in her early 40s. But I think that by and large, age is not really the main determinant that people use when they say 'oldest friend'. It seems to refer to the friend they've had the longest, which is odd, because the 2 friends that I've had the longest are both younger than I am.

My absolute oldest friend is Glen, who I have known since I was just 85 days old. I was her best friend the minute she came out of the womb (lucky girl, right?) and from day one, she and I were constantly paired together because we were only 3 months apart in age, and cousins to boot. Lots of people are friendly with their cousins, but she and I were honest to goodness friends aside from that, even though when I think about it, we're not very much alike. She is blonde (naturally), petite, quiet, demure, all the things that I am not. Maybe we are complimentary, or maybe we're just another odd pair, we certainly wouldn't be the first odd couple around. When we were little, our favourite thing to do was to play Barbies of course, and make bridal gowns out of toilet paper for them. And I would write plays, and we would perform them for the family (once, we did a dance, and we wore matching Vuarnet t-shirts and tye-dyed pushed-down tube socks). And we would play boardgames at Grandma's (Payday in particular) or else we'd play princess. Over the years, we have been to Chuck E. Cheese together, been stuck in an elevator together (thank goodness for Tiger Beat!), we've been on the Maid of the Mist together, seen Donny Osmond together, we bought the same skort (definition: part skirt and part shorts) sundress for our grade 8 graduations, sat in a heart-shaped jaccuzzi together, we've appeared in a calendar clinking glasses together, and once, when we were quite small, we "ran away from home" together, by which I mean we ran away from her home, and got almost to the end of her street before aunt Carol picked us up. And the funny thing is, we weren't so much running away, as going on a trip, because Carol had just given us brand new matching book bags, and we felt these bags were just so glamourous that they deserved some sort of destination.

When her sister got married, we were 12, and it inspired us to look through bridal magazines and dream about what our weddings would be like...of course we would be each other's maid of honour when the time came (note: when the time came for me, I didn't have any bridal party at all, since I married in another country). We also dreamed of going off to high school together, and sharing a locker (totally unrealistic, since I am a self-confessed locker slob), none of which ever happened, because we didn't even go to the same school as it turned out! When we went away to University, it was harder and harder to see each other while living in different cities, and last winter we briefly lived in the same city, but I spent most of my time unconscious or in the hospital, so except for a few daiquiris, we didn't see much of each other. But Glen is always in my heart, and always will be.

Lisa is my oldest non-relative friend. I first met her when we were in kindergarten, at the age of 5. That means we've been friends for 18 years, so we've seen each other through a lot of things. And when I stop to think about it, I realize that I've known Lisa longer than I've known Jana, my youngest sister! Isn't that crazy? I have memories of her from waaaayyyy back, and though we've had our ups and downs, she's always been there. When we were 9, I showed up to school one day with a new haircut, and Lisa was devastated. I had previously had hair down to my ass and Lisa had often entertained herself with my ponytail when we stood in line at the end of recess. I was there when she threw up on her desk during O Canada (and suspiciously, perhaps not coincidentally, she had tried her first sip of sambuca the night before....yes, this is still during elementary school).

She and I shared the common bond of being the most cultured 10-year olds in the school, and having both seen Les Miserables, we enlisted a couple of boys and put on a reenactment of it, filmed it, and had it shown at rassemblement, which was our school's version of a Friday afternoon assembly. I'm sure this must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but looking back, it was probably quite embarrassing. When we were 11, I spent a whole afternoon trying to show Lisa how to draw a diamond (many of you are incredulous at this, because my art skills are quite dubious...however, Lisa's are simply atrocious!!). At the end of the afternoon, the best we could do was to have her draw a square, and then tilt the paper. On one of our sleepovers, we discovered that we had the same bedding...unicorns! and we spent lots of time playing Family Feud on her computer (the "graphics", if you can even call them that back in 1991, are something I would just love to revisit now!). At 13 we started showing signs of multiple personalities, manifested as Liza and Everfresh (perhaps this is one of the reasons we both ended up pursuing psychology), which was a good excuse to be giddy and goofy, which we both are.

And she and I did end up going to high school together, though no, she was wise enough not to share a locker with me. And so I was there when the coupledom of Lisa and Doug began. In fact, and I hope to share this memory with her on her wedding day, just to embarrass her because I know how much she teased me for mine, I remember sitting in the library with her one day and Chris coming in and asking if she was going out with Doug. Lisa was very vehement in her denial --- NOOO!!, but rumours were swirling because of their cutesy behaviour at badminton practice. Of course, by the very next day, the NO had turned into a YES, and the rest, as the say, is history. I could not have known then that they would still be going strong today, but I'm glad my stupid brain bothered to make that memory, because with time, it has become precious. And Lisa was there for the various stages of my relationship too...the engagement party, the bridal shower, the reception. Gosh, it's been a wild ride, hasn't it? And things are really only getting started, we're both in our early 20s with lots more excitement to come, I'm sure.

So I think it's pretty safe to say that the position of my oldest friend is pretty unavailable, because there's just no getting rid of Glen :). We've shared secrets and dreams, but we also share common blood, and the half of my last name that comes before the hyphen. Over the years, I have had so many good friends and great experiences, many of them still in my life, some of them not, but leaving behind memories and valuable lessons so that I won't ever forget them. And the great thing is, I'm still making friends, still meeting new people. I can't say that I've recently written or produced any plays, and the last time I dressed something up in a wedding dress, it was T, and it was in my actual gown. I don't have any unicorns in the house anymore, I can't even say skort with a straight face. I don't want to be a New Kids on the Block groupie anymore, and I haven't been in a ball pit in Chuck E. Cheese or any other fine eatery since that episode of 20/20 that told us all the things you could accidentally touch when inside one of those things (believe me, you don't want to know). But as much as things have changed, for some reason, some friends are able to stay in your life and change right along with the times. One day I will hold Lisa's baby in my arms, and cry copiously at Glen's wedding. One day I will invite them both to my 40th birthday party and we'll all get drunk. One day we'll dance the funky chicken at a 50th wedding anniversary. What makes some friends go while others stay? Maybe I won't ever know for sure, and I certainly can't put it into words, so for now, I'll let someone else say it better:

The best mirror is an old friend - George Herbert

Age appears to be best in four things: old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read - Alonso of Aragon

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The best antiques are old friends -unknown

Cherish friendship in your breast,
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold. -Joseph Parry

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Dinner For Two

(a post by Jason)

Tonight was lasagna night. Now in most households that may not sound like a big deal, but that means you've never been here for lasagna night. If you have, then you know what I am talking about. There is someone who lives here who makes the best lasagna in the world, and I'll give you a hint (it's not me). I cannot say exactly what makes it so special, but I think it's love. You won't find it on the recipe card but you can certainly taste it. One time she made a black forest cake and forgot the love, I don't even want to tell you what happened. The point being, I eat really well around here. I'm not sure if all husbands do, but certainly the ones who gain weight after getting married do. I'm not exactly sure how much I've gained, but I have a lot of pants that don't fit, and shoes, but I'm not quite sure how that happened.

Guess what?

I'll tell you anyways as I'm sure you weren't going to sit there and actually guess. It was the Cornwall christmas parade today. It was an evening one, it started at 4:30 and almost all the floats were lit up like, yup, you guessed it, christmas trees. I was a little worried that there wouldn't be a good turnout, but once that sun set people came out in droves. Hmmm, actually I'm not sure how many people make a drove. Let me check....Dictionary.com says that a drove is " A large mass of people moving or acting as a body.", so in other words a large mass of people came to the parade at once. But I'm officially in the mood for Christmas now so I told Jamie I need to put a festive tape in the car so I can Jingle Bell rock all the way to the office, more on that another time though.

Peace out,


Friday, November 12, 2004

Know What's Obnoxious?

I'll tell you what's obnoxious. Old Navy commercials are obnoxious. And for some unfathomable reason, they keep coming out with these has-been celebrities, such as Morgan Fairchild, who either don't wear the clothing, or look silly in it. As if the sight of someone's aging not-so-gracefully grandmother who has suffered through one too many plastic surgeries is really going to compel me to think "Wow, that old lady with the too-tight face is so cool, I should dress just like her!" Um, no actually. I think that these commercials are not only bringing down the overall quality of commercials in general (smirk), but they are making me hate a shopping institution that I could otherwise really get into. I mean, you go into a store, and it's massive, bright, with tonnes of merchandise that's not too shabby and pretty well-priced, and it's hard not to find something that you'll like. But before you even walk in the door, you have to ask yourself if it's worth it, because inside, the PA system is constantly bombarding you with the audio version of their obnoxious commercials. Over and over and over and over and over. And I should know, because I used to get paid to fold t-shirts there. And until you have smiled through 8 hours of happy-happy-fun-happy-perky-smiley-happy-fun-happy-happy Old Navy commercials, you don't know how strong you really are.

Next on my list of obnoxious: people who ask to borrow kleenex. Borrow! Kleenex! To borrow means you are asking someone to lend you something temporarily, which you will then use and give back when you are done. So, do I want my used kleenex back when they are done with it? NO! I don't! I really, really, really don't. That is a truly offensive and disgusting proposition, one that I want no part of. To me, asking to borrown a kleenex is in the same obnoxious category as the return policy at Zellers...people, the let you return underwear! I mean, it's pathetic, they let you return anything because they're so desperate for customers...it's not even uncommon to find hangers that say Walmart right on them hanging on their racks. But underwear? That's outrageous! And gross! It's about as wrong as anything can be. If you need a kleenex, keep it. If you buy underwear, keep that too, even if you made a mistake. God.

Okay, just one more thing to toss on the obnoxious pile, and that is how McDonald's is now trying to convince us that they're healthy. I mean, is anyone buying this? If I go to McDonald's it's because I've made a conscious choice to indulge-I want McNuggets or something gross like that. If I'm in the mood for a great salad, well probably I'll just stay home because I make the best salads. I will never, ever go to McDonald's for their salad. I am haunted of images of their wilty lettuce with crumbled hamburger patties crumbled on top, and BigMac sauce drizzled over the whole thing. And maybe that is completely unfair and their salads are totally legit, but it doesn't matter because they're pointless. You will never make McDonald's synonymous with health food, it just can't happen. That's like sending people to Siberia for a nice sunny vacation. Sure there happens to be sun in Siberia, at least occasionally, but it's not ever going to be comparable to Jamaica. McDonald's has a niche, and it needs to stick to that. Know your market, people! But while I'm on the topic, let me just say this: if you eat at McDonald's consecutively for a month and get fat and sick from it, keep it to yourself. We all make our own choices, and if you like McDonald's, then treat yourself once in a while. If you like it a little too much, either learn self control or watch your tongue, because I don't want to hear about it. McDonald's is not a villain, it's a fast-food place, so take responsibility for your own actions, and don't ever, ever ask to borrow a kleenex from me.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Know What's Funny?

Cornflakes are funny. I mean, I'm sitting at the bar, eating my bowl of cornflakes with a little bran sprinkled on top because I have this notion that bran is healthy and so despite the fact that it tastes like cardboard, on it goes. And then I am hit by an epiphany: cornflakes aren't good either. To be good, you have to have some sort of flavour that is appealing to you, and cornflakes cannot be said to have any flavour at all, they're just bland. Bleck really. So why do I eat them? When did I give up on Count Chocula and Lucky Charms? True, my stomach is too delicate to eat crap like that in the morning now, but still. Maybe if I kept it up I would have built up a resistance to it. Now I'm eating cardboard for breakfast. What gives?

A few years ago, in a psych class called sexology, we learned that Mr. Kellog and Mr. Graham (as in Graham cracker) made their products, the crackers and the cornflakes, to discourage people from having too much sex. Well basically in that era of repression, everyone of moral standing was trying to discourage sex...even the table legs became boring because a curvy table leg with decorative embellishments was said to remind men of a woman's leg and drive them mad with desire! So these food products were made, according to my professor and some other scholars, because they made you spend more time in the bathroom, and therefore less time in the bedroom both directly (because you were occupied) and indirectly (because the two ideas were completely incompatible to such refined creatures). Other scholars say that bland foods were pushed because spicy foods boosted your libido and people were unable to control themselves. Either way, the consensus seems to be that a cornflake is supposed to squash desire. So, do I feel less sexy during breakfast?

The shameful truth is, most days I skip breakfast. I really don't like most breakfast foods...Jason drools over bacon and eggs and stuff (and I won't even mention sausage, because he'll start climbing the walls) and I think that's cool, as long as it's for supper. I just can't have that load of stuff sitting in my stomach all day long. Ugh. So if I wake up starving, cornflakes are basically what I resort to due to lack of options. I like Cheerios too, but Jason always eats those up. I know I can count on him not to eat the cornflakes, because cornflakes are gross. So if something is gross, it can't really be sexy, right? Especially not with bran sprinkled on top.

Everyone knows that bran is most definitely not sexy, although my Nanny is always trying to "sex it up" (not her expression) by smearing her bran muffins with chocolate icing...I may have been tricked by that when I was 6, but not any longer!
So we agree that the cereal is not sexy, and that's fine because the market for sexy foods seems to be dominated by chocolate and whipped cream and stuff like that, stuff that makes sense because it's spreadable and lickable and tastes indulgent.

Cornflakes, used in such a context, would roll right off and crumble, and once your mind is on the crumbs in your sheets, it's not on sex. And no, I'm not speaking from experience, so get your dirty mind out of the gutter.

So Mr. Kellogg was successful in making a product that could not be marketed as sexy. Lovers may break out the strawberries and champagne as a prelude to sex, but never cereal and milk. It's soggy, and sloppy, and a little milk dribbling down your hunny's chin may seem awwww but it's not grrrrroooowwwwrrr. So, it won't jump start your lust, but will it prevent it?

My unscientific answer is: I highly doubt it. If it were even remotely true, those boxes would remain on the shelves of the grocery stores everywhere, collecting dust. We live in the age of viagra, where nothing stands in the way of sex anymore. People are willing to pop pills, or have surgeries, or use pumps and other demeaning devices just to have sex....if there was an answer as simple as cutting out the cornflakes, we would know it. So for now, I'll just keep thinking that cornflakes are a funny, funny food.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Just Your Typical Tuesday

Yesterday, like so many other days, I received a little visit from my Nanny, who likes to give and receive "the latest news" as she sees fit- considering she is 71, most of her news is health updates and obituary-watching (she tells me that she always reads this section of the newspaper first). But yesterday she had some especially juicy stories, and she said she felt like Ann Landers with all this gossip, just like in the paper. Well, first off, The Standard Freeholder publishes Dear Abby, not Ann Landers. In fact, Ann Landers has been dead for more than 2 years now, but I don't have the heart to tell that to Nanny. I just let her give me all the updates, and I tried not to get distracted by the flour on her face. I know that if she knew it was there, she would be very embarrassed, so I kept that to myself also.

This is the time of year when Nanny bakes a billion pies to put in her freezer. Yesterday she must have made half a dozen apple pies, which makes me sad, because in the past she could use apples from her own apple trees for at least some of those pies...on particularly abundant years, I also received some of the apples for my own pies. But this summer she got it in her head that the apple trees had to go, so they did. They called the stump removal guy, who never showed up, so Pa, a 73-year old man, was out there hacking away for days and days. Now the backyard is totally barren, and I remember when I was small there was a great big tree that we loved to play on because it had a swing. And then one summer it just disappeared. And this tree had been part of family lore for more than 30 years! My uncle Jim had been tied to it as a child and chased with a lawnmover (this never happened, but it's still one of his favourite stories...just like my mother and her toe jam, which leads one to believe that these kids were not read to enough as children, but that's another story).

So later yesterday night, I was lying on the hood of the car, star-gazing, and you know what I saw? I believe it was a constellation! Now, I know all about constellations in the abstract, and I have indeed looked up into the sky at night before, seeing stars and whatever else. But I've never really looked with deliberate intention, so this is the first real blending of theory and reality, and it was very exciting for me. They were tiny little stars in the shape of a little pot, which is what struck me most: it was tiny. But still obvious enough that I thought it couldn't be a coincidence. I'm pretty sure it was the big dipper, which is a misnomer if you ask me, but still beautiful. And it really makes you wonder at how these things come to be, because that shit's impressive! However, when it's -8 outside, it's not exactly the most opportune time to go outside and discover the sky. But I was already out there admiring the sky, so it just happened. I was in my pjs and wrapped in a comforter, so it was really only my feet that cold, because I have this mental block where I really don't like to wear shoes with pjs, so I just had on my Winnie the Pooh socks. But cold toes were worth it, because the sky was so pretty last night, it was glowing with gusts of light which I guess was the Northern Lights, which I have seen before, and frankly, never cease to amaze me.

So, all in all, a pretty great Tuesday. I seem to be healing pretty well after my fall off the Gazelle on Monday, my lungs are functioning again, so that's nice. You really miss them when you stun them into shutting down. It makes you wonder what could possibly be in store for Wednesday!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

A Good Old-Fashioned Barn-Razing

Okay, so I'm sitting on the couch, showing Jason my scabby knee. It's scabby because my razor was not optimally sharp, and I did a rush job in the shower. And it occurs to me that either I should start calling my razor my shaver or call shaving razing. Wouldn't that make more sense? Which prompts the inevitable discussion about how razing already has too many meanings.

The verb "to raze" is unique in the English language because it's one of the many words that have two meanings (like prune...as in a dried plum, or the action of trimming your roses, 2 very different meanings) except that the 2 different meanings of to raze are complete opposites- it can mean to build or construct OR to destroy or tear down. So if I told you I was having a good old-fashioned barn-razing you would have to come take a peak at my back yard to see if I had just built myself a barn, or demolished one.

Jason and I know this because it was a question in our Mensa quiz book. For those of you who may not know, Mensa is kind of a club for smart people-they admit only the top 2% of all people, according to their IQ tests. Jason and I are not Mensa members, which is not to say that we couldn't be, just that we aren't really club people. My IQ score is in fact within the top 2% and since Jason was smart enough to marry me, he may qualify by default. Geena Davis is reportedly a member, as are Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert), Isaac Asimov (one of my favourite writers...you should look him up, Will Smith's movie I, Robot was based on his stuff), and Jessica Simpson.

Whoa, there. Did I just say Jessica Simpson? Well, according to her mother in Vanity Fair, Jessica's IQ is 160, which definitely makes her Mensa material. It makes her considerably smarter than me; in fact, it puts her on par with Einstein. So yeah, lots of people laughed when they read that. I mean, sure mothers are protective of their daughters. And Jessica is certainly dumb enough to need a lot of protecting...but if her mother is going to lie, she probably should have aimed for something a little more believable. Like an IQ of 60...which would put her at the moronic, but still functional level, which is documented weekly on MTV, to my understanding. Perhaps she should be considered as Densa material, which as you can imagine, is for people in the bottom 2% of the population. If you're wondering whether or not you qualify, you can gain peace of mind with this simple quiz.

Anyway, back to the problem at hand: my scabby knee. There really is no band-aid on the market made for knees. But with geniuses with Jessica Simpson around, I'm sure that's not a problem I'll have for long!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Why I Need Women (They Are Practical All The Time)

(Another post by my husband:)

Well, that really shouldn't be plural, but this is in response to Jamie's blog from earlier today.

Aside from smelling nice, they have a multitude of fantastic uses. They are better from head to toes, especially in the boob area. I can make a pretty good list as to why I need a good woman in my life.

First off they are motivating, I've done close to a million things I never would have done before without one. From jumping in a freezing pool with my clothes on to running all over Ottawa on foot at midnight looking for a store that sells little fancy cheeses. It's hard to believe that any sane person would do these things without thinking twice about it. But that's exactly the trick that women use, the insanity trick. It's subtle, but if you look around you can see lots of men doing strange things for no apparent reason, but if you look closely you'll see a woman nearby. You'll see men holding purses, and going to a department store to buy pantyhose. These are things no reasonable man would do without the gentle persuasion of a female.

By gentle persuasion I mean the look. The "puh-lese" look, it'll convince any man and he'll be happy to do it. It's the best look any person can get though, makes you feel warm all over, and you'll do anything just to get another one. I have to admit I'm a sucker for that look to which Jamie will attest. It can sometimes be used on command, but it usually just pops out, and once it does there is no turning back, I'm hooked and I'm on my way to doing something I didn't think I'd be doing a moment before. It's great having good woman to love you, and it's great to love back. At the end of the day that's all that's important. And while they don't hatch chickens (see Jamie's earlier post) they are wonderful nonetheless.

Jamie says:
I hope that women are more than just practical, because otherwise, you've completely missed the point :) And also, while the part about The Look is right on the money, you forgot to mention a lot of other not-so-subtle manipulations, such as statements like "Jaayyyysssooooonnnn, I'm thirrrrrsssttyyyyy" and without even asking for a thing, a glass of Diet Pepsi is handed to me, ice cubes clinking and the straw bent just the way I like it.

Jason responds:
Jamie is horribly cute and always thirsty.But still cute.

At 1:14 AM, Groove Salad said...

I need a boy like this! Wherever did you find him?!

Finally, a Practical Use for Men

I know, I know, men seem like a good idea in theory, but realistically, when you have one staying in your home semi-permanently, you begin to wonder what you can really do with him. My high school biology teacher, Mrs. Love, used to say that if we would just freeze enough sperm we could do away with men altogether. And in my case, I don't even require any spermcicles (that's sperm popsicles, for you uninitiated) since I don't want children.

Most men when asked for their "use" claim it's to reach the stuff of the top shelf. However, as an intelligent, enlightened woman, I have in fact heard of a nifty little invention called The Step-Stool.

Historically men are around to be the protectors...but that begs the question: protector from what? I have to protect Jason from bees and spiders, and I'm the one who steps up in emergency situations because Jason can't stand the sight of blood.

Some women rely on their men to perform the all-important task of taping Sex and the City for them. Well, that show is actually over with now, but on the off-chance that you've found a new show to obsess over, say Desperate Housewives, for example, there's always the manual. Seriously, I tape my own shows, I can set the clock on the VCR, and when the computer goes on the blink, my random pressing of buttons fixes things about as efficiently as Jason's more rational process.

Some men think we keep them around so we always have someone to blame, but honestly, everyone knows that's what mothers are for. So then, what service are men actually providing? Well, if you have a spare minute and find yourself pondering this very question, you might want to check out this handy site where they will give your man instructions on how to hatch baby chicks in his scrotum.

Now what woman doesn't think little cheeping birdies are not sweet and adorable? And this procedure has the added bonus of rendering your man infertile, so yay! It's not like scrotums are much use to anyone anyway, so they may as well be converted to tiny little incubators. So in a small way, men can know what it feels like to have a "womb" and give birth to small...creatures.

They do offer this word of advice, however:"When the hatched chicks are living within your scrotum they may attempt to burrow upwards into your abdominal cavity. While this may be survivable it is not recommended.

So as long as you keep that in mind, things should turn out fine. And if not, then I guess it's up to men to realize that if we don't NEED them around anymore, then they should work on us WANTING them around. I know I certainly don't need a man around. I also know that I do want Jason around, but because he's my best friend and that's what a woman really needs. As long as you have something in your life to give it passion (work, friends, creativity, pets, hobby, etc), a real woman will be happy no matter what her relationship status is. Right ladies?

Friday, November 05, 2004

Songs I Wouldn't Want to Live Without

I am an incredibly musical person for someone who cannot play an instrument or carry a tune to save her life. But I have a great love of music, and I will burst out in song at Walmart or your uncle's funeral because I just can't help myself. I shouldn't sing, I have a terrible voice, but I love music. So, if you care, here are some songs that never fail to put a smile on my face (in no particular order). If you haven't heard of them, please do download or borrow a copy, because I think they're worth your time.

1. Beastie Boys, Fight For Your Right
This is classic. It's hard for me to pick just one Beastie song, they're all stupendous, so I'm going back to the basics. When I listen to this song now, I remember that these Boys are pushing 40 now, and still rocking out just as hard.

2. U2, Sunday Bloody Sunday
I don't need to tell you that U2 rocks, but they have had a consistent string of hits for 20 years now, so it's worth it to go back in time a bit, because this song is what U2 is all about.

3. Eve 6, Open Road Song
This song will energize you without a doubt. But don't dare break it out for your inner-city driving, definitely save it for an open road. It will be worth the wait.

4. Neneh Cherry and Edward Kowalczyk (the dude from Live), Walk Into This Room
This song is from one of my favourite movies, Playing By Heart, and I fell in love with it the second I heard it. Jason brought it to me on his mp3 player to cheer me up one day back when we were newly dating, and it was our first dance on our wedding day. I still get shivers every time I hear it.

5. Michael Jackson, You Rock My World
Okay, so I know it's not popular to like Michael Jackson anymore, but I started taking dance lessons when I was 21/2 years old and the music has been near and dear to my heart ever since. No matter what else can be said about him, he is a great entertainer, and when I hear this song (and many others of his), I just can't help but move. There is nothing better than hearing the opening notes of this song on a crowded dance floor.

6. Save Ferris, I Want You to Want Me
This song comes in many versions, I particularly like this one. If you enjoy it too, also try Reel Big Fish's Come On Eileen, a great ska cover.

7. Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Otherside
They have a lot of great stuff, this song got my butt shaking in the morning, and that is hard to do. Great memories attached to it.

8. Bif Naked, Chotee
This is one of those angry songs that you can listen to and vent all your crap and it never fails to deliver.

9. The Flys, Got You Where I Want You
I don't know what it is about this song, but love it love it love it. Favourite lyric: What's your favourite song? Maybe we could hum along........

10. Praz, ODB & Maya, Ghetto Superstar
Jess, Glenda and I have never failed to make good use of this song!!!!

11. Everclear, AM Radio
Happiest song ever!

12. Weezer, Jamie
The sweetest song you could ever want to hear, it's not well-known, but way worth looking up. It's a love song to their lawyer, which is just the odd kind of thing we love about Weezer.

13. BareNaked Ladies, Call&Answer
Atypical for them, and underrated. Everyone needs to hear this song probably about once a month to pick themselves up.

14. Moist, Leave it Alone
This song still gives me goosebumps every single time I hear it. The whole album, Creature, in fact, is grade A stuff, emotional and raw, and it never fails to take me back. Man I wish they still made music like this.

15. Josh Groban, The Prayer
Okay, this is not technically Josh Groban's song, but I have adored this song for years and years, and his version of it is heavenly. I don't know of a voice more beautiful than his.

16. Our Lady Peace, Naveed
If you know me at all, you know it's actually impossible for me to choose just one OLP song, but I'm putting this one down because it's the one I fell in love with first.

Okay, so this list could potentially go on forever if I let it, so I'll end it there, on the best note that I know of. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Beetle Juice and Other Observations

So tonight I got to be a proud big sister at Jan's Gala des Merites. You know what I realized? I'm really not a clapper. I truly just do not like to applaud. Now where would I have picked this up? Are some of us just born that way? But about Jan I realized that she is really growing up. I mean, it seems like just yesterday it was me on the stage accepting awards and 8-year old Jan was in the audience applauding (or not, maybe this thing is genetic) me. I have all kinds of memories of little Jan and little Rob, and tonight when I was taking pictures of them together on stage, I knew that those days were long gone. When I moved out of the house, Jan was 13, still a kid in elementary school, and suddenly she's 17, poised and accomplished and beautiful. Those 4 years that I missed are the pivotal years when a person goes from kid to adult. And it's now hard to look at her and not see myself. She is the person I was when I left.

The last stage that I graced before I left was on my high school graduation. It was so exciting to stand up there and receive my diploma and awards and bursaries. I felt ready to leave and start a new life. It was a proud night for me, and prouder still when I got home later (much, much later in fact, due to a celebratory trip to Montreal) to find a note from T saying "They clapped the loudest for you." More than four years later, I still think that's the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to me. That night, I had an idea of what the rest of my life would be: I was moving to Ottawa, pursuing a degree, chasing a dream. And who was by my side? My husband, Jason, though he wasn't my husband then. So when I see Jan up on that stage, I know what this year means to her. And it scares me because she's still my little sister and it's so hard to let go of wanting to protect her. I still remember the first day I ever swore in front of her, and it was traumatic. You spend so much time being told to take care of your little sister, look out for her and shelter, and then all of a sudden you realize that when you were her age, you HATED anyone who tried to do those things. So where do we go from here? I was just 5 1/2 when Jan was born and I know I was excited to have another new sister. When I was 10 and she was 4, she was a cutie but not so much a playmate. And that was even truer when I was 18 and she was 12. Aside from blood we had not much in common. But as we get older that age gap disappears and we have to redefine our relationship to be just sisters, and forget about big and little (I'm not overly fond of being referred to as big anyway). Anyway, it was a delightful night to see Jan shine, and when she took home the Student of the Year award, I was not one bit surprised.

What continues to surprise me, however, is when I meet up with little bits of my past. Tonight, it was a little boy I used to babysit 10 years ago. Today this kid is bigger than my husband. I've tucked him into bed and watched cartoons with him, made his dinner, chased the boogie men away, and even cleaned up his puke. So when that kid walks up to you and he towers over you, it's a bit of a shock. While he has probably grown 2 feet, I haven't grown an inch :( .

But I have to say despite all this, the strangest part of my night has not yet been discussed. Jan and I are still deciding whether to go with Limpy or Gimpy, but the fact of the matter is that my mother most definitely is limping away. Why, you might ask? Well, it's the beetle juice. This is a new treatment for plantar's warts that is currently bubbling in her little toe sock, causing immense blisters, immenser pain, and obviously enough discomfort to cause limping. So yes, beetle juice. It takes two days of cooking, then it should blister up the toe and be ready for "removal" tomorrow, whatever that may mean. Yummy, eh?

Anyways, now I have the serious task of awaiting 3 am while remaining fully conscious and not throwing up due to the overabundance of reality crap on TV. First off, the amount of rose petals on The Bachelor really makes me queasy. It's not romantic when they're throwing hoardes of rose petals at 4 different women at the same time, it's cheesy and degrading. But the show after that, Wife Swap (or something like that) really gets to me. Why do we need shows like that, and who is watching them? No wonder I've been reading so much lately!

[Anyone who has arrived her from searching ye great search engine in the sky, Google, or heck, even Yahoo!, or one of the babies, looking for info on the beetle juice for warts thing, here is what I know: in my mother's case, she had had plantar warts for years. Nothing else worked. She wasn't too concerned about it until the doctor said when her immune system was down, they could multiply by the hundreds. That scared her. So she had it done; twice actually. The first time hurt her a lot but didn't really do anything. The second time, unfortunately, had the same results. So I can't really recommend it, but again, hers were old and deeply rooted...gross, I know, but there you have it.]

Monday, November 01, 2004

The moment you turn away, I put fruit on my head and start a conga line.

Well, today was a pretty okay day, except for the incident in the produce section. Jason just had to find out what was inside okra. You can't bring that kid anywhere.

Tomorrow is when it gets really interesting because we find out just how dumb Americans are. I mean, obviously they were dumb enough to sort of elect George W. the first time around. But will they do it a second time? The whole rest of the world agrees that Kerry is the only real choice. Americans should just concede that this whole electoral process is above their heads, and let the rest of the world determine their presidents for them. But no, we have to let them take this decision into dumb American hands once again. Lord! Meanwhile, we're all sweating bullets because it appears that this race is actually a race! There's actually a competition, which means people are actually considering voting for George W. Now have these so-called republicans all been living under a rock these past 4 years? Because a lot of shit has gone on, and it totally seems like it's time to jump ship already. Now I admit that Kerry doesn't have the charisma of a great leader. But he has solid ideas, he's not a crazy war-monger, he speaks intelligently, and he seems to grasp basic political concepts. So you'd think that in comparison, Kerry would seem like God. George Bush is an idiot, even his supports acknowledge that much. One of his aides is always standing by to supply him with big-boy words, but it's never enough. You can dress him up, but as soon as he opens his mouth: idiot.

So I really hope that all this press I'm hearing about it being a tight race is just Ashton Kutcher's latest episode of Punk'd and by tomorrow evening George W. will be on TV going "Oh man, you got me good, I can't believe not one single person voted for me!" And then we can all share another laugh at his expense. I mean, that's all the man is good for, so we might as well enjoy it. The only downfall of pushing Bush out is that he makes great fodder on SNL. Meanwhile, we should all be making extra room for the throngs of Americans who will no doubt be running for cover in Canada should George Bush accidentally win again. But remember: if we do have an influx of Americans here, we should by no means ever EVER give them the right to vote here. They cannot be trusted!

My Mother Is A Big Fat Cow

Halloween has officially come and gone...it's November. I miss October because you can still be delusional in October. Maybe your flipflops were still at the front door, or your patio furniture was still out, or you could still see the remnants of your tan if you squinted at yourself in the mirror. But November is a whole new ballpark: winter is coming and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. So for me, Halloween is a bit bitter-sweet. Granted, this year's was probably the warmest Halloween that I ever remember. No need for snowsuits under the costumes this year, although I know two people for whom that wouldn't have been a problem: my mom, and her friend Joan.

Every year Mom and Joan delight in picking out outrageous costumes. This year my mom went as a cow, and Joan as a crazy butcher. Their costumes, if you can imagine, were inflatable. Once you put it on, a little fan blew air into the costumes, puffing it out and making my mother the fattest cow I have ever seen. That just made my Halloween.

So now I am bravely facing November because honestly, I don't have much choice. Jason loves this time of year because he knows he looks so handsome in sweaters, but I on the other hand, have a hatred of bulky clothing. They makes me feel constricted and claustrophobic. I abhor winter coats. I look silly in hats. There is no such thing as a stylish snowboot so I freeze my toes wearing my cute stilletos. And this will go on for the next 5 frigid months, months that seem interminable. I hate snow. I hate the cold. I hate sleigh rides and jingle bells and runny noses and the whole bit. But when it comes to the weather, no one ever consults me. Just once I would like to be the boss of the weather. A white Christmas is nice in theory, but in reality it means shovelling, scraping the car, slipping on the sidewalk and showing your knickers to a bunch of strangers. Oh boy, I can hardly wait.